Thursday, March 20, 2014


Drew Hutchison is still an "under the radar"
fantasy arm and could fill
a hole in your rotation.
Jarrod Parker, Patrick Corbin, Kris Medlin, Brandon Beachy, Derek Holland, Jon Neise, A.J. Griffin, Cole Hamels.....can any pitcher stay healthy? It seems starters are dropping like flies already and the season has yet to begin. The waiver wire is already buzzing in leagues that have drafted as arms continue to go on the shelf. It may not be possible to recoup all your losses depending on your investment, but all hope is not lost. There are some names floating around that are available and may be able to plug the leak in your sinking rotation.

Yordano Ventura KC  (Owned 71% of leagues)
Now there is a slim chance Ventura is available in your league, but if by luck he is RUN to your league's waiver wire and pluck him off there. This flamethrower was officially named the Royals #5 starter and he should make a positive impact for at least the first half of the season. We all know the second time around the league guys get exposed and young arms tire from the workload of a major league season. However, right now he brings considerable upside. Spring stats mean very little, but regardless he is dominating (15K/1BB in 15IP with a 1.76ERA) the Cactus League. He was also lights out in AA and held his own in the hitter friendly PCL for the Royals AAA affiliate. He has big time potential.

Archie Bradley ARZ (Owned 63%)
Clearly with Patrick Corbin out for the year, Bradley is going to get a rotation look at some point. Due to economics you would think this would be more likely to be in June, but Kirk Gibson may override the front office's better judgement. He should have 180 IP or so available in his tank at his age (22) and development stage. He has ace potential and obviously we all know his keeper value in deep leagues. For 2014, Bradley has a chance to make a real impact even if Randall Delgado gets the first crack. Your time to grab and stash him is running out.

Hector Santiago LAA (Owned 44%)
He may be small in stature, but this diminutive lefty throws gas and has big K potential. He is lighting it up this spring with 19K's in 16 IP and had some great outings as a starter last year for the White Sox. There are questions about his stamina, but the Angels are prepared to find out those answers. For fantasy purposes, he should at least be a viable first half option in mixed leagues. I would rather take a chance on a young kid like this with high velocity and strikeout potential rather than some old re-tread veteran.

Drew Hutchison TOR (Owned 17%)
Again, spring stats are to be taken with a grain of salt, but Hutchison has 16K/1BB and a 2.79 ERA in just 9IP. He is just 23 and got some exposure to the big leagues last season with mixed results. It appears he is finally 100% after missing most of the 2012 season and he definitely has a chance to be a part of your long term plans with his swing and miss stuff. Over 270 career minor league innings Hutchison has a 4-1 K/BB rate, a K/9 of 9.6 and a 2.80 ERA. For a guy with a job, his ownership is so low it's almost absurd. Toronto may not be the ideal location for a young pitcher to cut his teeth, but he has a lot of talent and is worth the investment.

Tanner Roark WAS (Owned 6%)
New manager Matt Williams has already started to make some changes and it looks like Ross Detwiler is headed to the pen. Enter Tanner Roark, who's value is higher than your average fifth guy because he pitches on a stacked Nats team in a weak NL East. In roto and NL only formats, you may get some cheap wins and 6 inning starts. At 27, he is far more likely a place holder for the likes of A.J. Cole; but for the next month or two he can be a band aid on your wounded rotation.

David Hale ATL (Owned 5%)
Alex Wood is already owned in too many leagues to mention on this list, but with Medlen and Beachy out, Mike Minor and Gavin Floyd on the mend and Ervin Santana behind...well David Hale is going to get a solid look in the Braves' rotation. If it's between Hale and veteran Freddy Garcia the choice is easy. Why claim an older pitcher at the end of his rope with no upside when you can get a 26 year old with at least a glimmer of hope? Hale is not unhittable but in the short term he he can post a decent 2-1 K/BB rate and an ERA in the mid to upper 3 range. Pitchers like Hale have a good chance to be successful early even if they don't have a dominant repertoire (think Jeff Locke of the Pirates last year in the first half). A short term fix, but he might bide you time for some younger arms to grace the stage at the break.

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